IU Kokomo Professor Named 2021 Gerald Bepko Award Winner

(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Commission for Higher Education today awarded the 2021 Gerald Bepko Faculty Community Engagement Award to Indiana University (IU) Kokomo professor Angela M. Coppola, Ph.D.

Indiana University Kokomo professor Angela M. Coppola, Ph.D.

The award – announced today during the Commission’s biennial Faculty Leadership Conference – was established in 2019 to honor the legacy of Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Bepko and his decades of service to Indiana University and the Commission for Higher Education.

“Recipients of this award are model faculty members who are contributing to the greater good of their communities and furthering the core principles of Indiana’s higher education system,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “Dr. Coppola’s drive to ensure her students are receiving a rich educational experience paired with critical civic engagement opportunities is one of the many reasons she was selected as this year’s Gerald Bepko Faculty Community Engagement Award winner.”

Coppola is an assistant professor of health sciences and director of the Applied and Community Research Center at IU Kokomo. She has been in these roles since 2016 and 2018, respectively. In her roles, Coppola advances community-university partnerships, connecting with students and local organizations to address the health and well-being of Howard County residents through health education and programs.

Through her campus and community partnerships, she has developed research-based service-learning approaches, co-created a children’s physical activity and development internship program, and led the development and implementation of applied and community research grant programs. Coppola and her students have also worked with the Howard County Health Department to explore how to enhance harm reduction, overdose rescue kits, and syringe services programs, addressing the effects of the opioid epidemic in Indiana.

“This mutually-beneficial work is important for establishing the role of higher education indirectly addressing the needs of the community, and ultimately addressing the well-being and vitality of local communities and the state of Indiana,” Coppola said. “I am absolutely thrilled to be recognized for my work and extremely grateful that this award is available for those in higher education who value community engagement.”

Coppola earned her undergraduate degree from Hofstra University, master’s degree from Miami University, and Ph.D. at the University of Alberta. She resides in Kokomo.